The staff of the Pappas rehabilitation hospital do their utmost for the patients

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Nick Grigoriou provides guidance to software engineer Dan Miley during testing.

Nick Grigoriou is a 25-year-old man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. A patient at the DPH’s Pappas Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Canton since 2012, Nick is preparing to be discharged home later this month. Due to the progression of his disease, Nick has lost many functions, and while he is still able to drive his power wheelchair and move independently, he is dependent on others for help in daily activities.

Recently, due to limitations in his movements, Nick has no longer been able to use his video game console, preventing him from enjoying his free time and favorite social activities. Working with her occupational therapist Donna McCrorey, they concluded that existing adaptations would not work and so they turned to the internet search for a solution. They found a Youtube video on “Freedom Wing”, an app that connects electric wheelchairs and play platforms but unfortunately was not available on the market.

Nick and Donna weren’t going to be discouraged. Donna contacted Dan Miley, a software engineer, to use this concept to design a computer interface with even greater functionality. Nick tried several versions, providing feedback on each iteration, until his access to his favorite video game platform was fully restored. Then, Don Fredette of Pappas’ rehabilitation engineering department created a useful and durable container for the system to make it playable wherever Nick goes.

Nick's Xbox controller - affectionately known as

Nick’s Xbox controller – affectionately known as “NIXBOX” – tops his new video game system.

Thanks to Nick’s determination – and the help and dedication of Pappas’ staff – he can’t wait to do what he likes best, in the place he most wants to be. Nick will be returning home this summer to play Xbox with his brother.

You can learn more about the Pappas Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital at http://www.prhc.us/.

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